Welcome to yet another “best UX books’’ list, but with a twist. This compilation revisits the best books from one decade, the 1980s. If you were there, you can take a stroll down memory lane — or get apoplectic if your fav book was overlooked. If you joined the UX field later, you can get a taste of the latest-greatest ideas from that era, and see which ones are still around.

Of course, the term UX had not yet been coined, and the field was more commonly known as human-computer interaction (HCI) and user-centered design (UCD), which are terms featured in many of the classic books we’ll cover.

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I haven’t had a good pillow fight in a long time but these posters, created as key visuals for Japan’s National Pillow Fight Contest, are making me want to invite some friends over for a sleepover and start swinging. They feature Olympic gymnast Airi Hatakeyama in a series of poses the represent the pillars of pillow fighting: throw, dodge and defend.

Here’s a look at the various FUI designs from the sci-fi series The Expanse.

Special thanks to Brian Benton who suggested this and provided some great links as well! A lot of the images have been collected from this massive image dump from drainsmith and further below we have some insights and images provided by Rhys Yorke who worked on The Expanse (Season 3 & 5) as a motion graphics designer.

This timeline is the result of researching the origins of digital paint and draw software, and the tools that were developed to allow for hand manipulation (versus plotter drawn) drawing and painting - the mouse, light pen & drawing tablet. If we look at the software that has become commonplace today (such as adobe photoshop), which allows for painting, animation and photo manipulation in one, we can trace the roots of this software to the University and Corporate Labs that housed large computers with advanced capabilities for their time - MIT Lincoln Labs & Radiation Labs, DARPA & the Augmented Research Centre (ARC), Bell Labs, NYIT’s Computer Graphics Lab, Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (Xerox PARC), NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL). The artistic collaborations that grew out of these labs fueled the advent of Computer Graphics, Computer Art and Video Art from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.

This visual timeline starts by tracing the paint systems, frame buffers, and graphic user interfaces created out of these labs, with a focus on the first paint/draw software and the various drawing tools. I am interested in how the larger corporate, and often Military Funded laboratories, effected the dawn of the personal computer and the introduction of the personal computer to the home. This timeline continues through the 1980’s, with a focus on the software and hardware that was developed for the home market from late 1970’s to the 1990’s.

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I recently had my Volkswagen Golf Alltrack at the dealership for routine maintenance. As a courtesy, this dealership will give you a loaner car if you pre-request it. This time they gave me a new Atlas, their largest SUV model.

This was just before the gas crunch hit, but fuel was still on their minds. “We’re now charging for the fuel you use with the loaner car,” the VW service guy told me, as he handed over the keys. “Last year we lost $300,000 in fuel costs with loaner cars.”

That figure sounded high to me, and I assumed he meant VW dealerships nationwide. He then explained that they’d use the odometer and GPS tracker in the car to calculate my precise mileage and thus, fuel cost. “Okay,” I said.

“You don’t need to fill it up yourself if you hit empty,” he added. “We’ll fill it up and just charge you, it’s cheaper for you that way.”

This sounded dubious, but with no other choice I drove off in the Atlas to run some errands. I hadn’t gone far before I glanced down at the fuel gauge, and saw this:

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Eames Lounge chair restomod by Callum Design with carbon fiber inlays.

Microsoft is finally preparing to refresh its Windows 95-era icons. The software giant has been slowly improving the icons it uses in Windows 10, as part of a “sweeping visual rejuvenation” planned for later this year. We saw a number of new system icons back in March, with new File Explorer, folder, Recycle Bin, disk drive icons, and more. Microsoft is now planning to refresh the Windows 95-era icons you still sometimes come across in Windows 10.

Have you ever gotten overwhelmed by your design work? Have you ever felt lost and wished there was an easy to follow roadmap? Me too. Over the past few years, I’ve been developing a simple four-part recipe for successful design. These are things every designer must do to be successful in their design work. And…I may even say, if you’re not doing all four of these things…you’re not doing design.

Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what we mean by “design”. In my previous article, we explored a solid definition of what design is, and the six things that make design a unique discipline. I’d recommend that you go back and read that article, but we can summarize that article with this definition of design:

Design is a distinct method of reasoning that brings form to solutions that solve specific, but ambiguous problems.

As designers, we’re constantly working to solve problems by trying solutions and evaluating how well they work. We do a variety of activities to accomplish this. In my observation, I want to suggest there are two types of activities broken into four elements.

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Or, “how not to GIS”.

For the impatient, there’s a github repository for the maptrace program documented here, and it comes complete with example inputs and outputs for quick perusal.

Picture the keypad of a telephone and calculator side by side. Can you see the subtle difference between the two without resorting to your smartphone? Don’t worry if you can’t recall the design. Most of us are so used to accepting the common interfaces that we tend to overlook the calculator’s inverted key sequence. A calculator has the 7–8–9 buttons at the top whereas a phone uses the 1–2–3 format.

Développer vos sites et applications en utilisant des composants prêts à l’emploi, accessibles et ergonomiques

Depuis plus d’un an et demi, le Service d’Information du Gouvernement (SIG) construit cet outil avec l’aide de nombreux développeurs et designers de la sphère publique. À la clé : retour d’expériences, rejoindre la communauté et gagner du temps.

SVG, short for “scalable vector graphics” is a format for, well, scalable vector graphics. In this article I summarize my opinion of the format, what its problems are and suggest what could be done to improve things.

A legible monospace font… the very typeface you’ve been trained to recognize since childhood.

Jan 30

A highly-flexible new variable font.

Built to maximize versatility, control, and performance, Recursive is a five-axis variable font. This enables you to choose from a wide range of predefined styles, or dial in exactly what you want for each of its a

Jan 19

Datalegreya is a typeface which can interweave data curves with text. It is designed by Figs, on the basis of open source font Alegreya Sans Thin SC by type designer Juan Pablo Del Perla.

For all its transcendental appeals, art has always been inextricably grounded in the material realities of its production, an entwinement most evident in the intriguing history of artists’ colours. Focusing in on painting’s primary trio of red, yellow, and blue, Philip Ball explores the science and stories behind the pigments, from the red ochre of Lascaux to Yves Klein’s blue.

Forget everything you know about CSS. Or at least, be ready to reconsider a lot of it. If like me you’ve been writing CSS for over a decade, CSS in 2020 looks nothing like what you were used to.

Instead of breakpoints, we can now leverage CSS Grid to make dynamic, responsive layouts that adapt to any viewport size with fewer lines of code. Instead of relying on global stylesheets, CSS-in-JS lets us colocate our styles with our components to build themeable design systems.

And most of all, Tailwind CSS has burst onto the scene and, through its use of utility-first CSS, forced us to reconsider the traditional dogma of semantic class names.

Whether all this change makes you want to write a hyped-up blog post or an angry Twitter rant, we are here to present the data, highlight the trends, and hopefully guide you through another eventful year of CSS!

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